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Don’t relax… the deadline isn’t too far away

As many HR professionals are drowning in Brexit related admin, it would be easy to drop the ball when it comes to Gender Pay Reporting. Still a few month’s away and more familiar now that we are approaching the second year of reporting but don’t relax too much….

Lessons learnt from Year 1

Think back to last year. Were you one of the 28% of employers who claimed it was ‘easy’ or ‘very easy’ to gather their data to produce the 2018 calculations? If so, it might be worth checking your methodology as this was not the norm! Did you leave it until the last minute to publish your results? You weren’t alone if you did – almost half of all employers published their reports in the last week before the deadline.

If you haven’t already produced your latest gender pay report, we recommend taking some time before the end of January to complete our five essential tasks to avoid a last minute panic.

Five essential tasks

1. Check whether you are in scope for 2019
 You may or may not have triggered the 250 or more employee threshold last year but this isn’t a ‘one time’ test. If you are a borderline employer, check again to make sure you are ‘in’ or ‘out’ by referring back to your employee numbers on 5 April 2018.


2. Gather your information and start talking to payroll NOW
Having assisted a number of employers with their first year reports, it was easy to see that the information gathering and classification of different elements of pay was, by far, the most troublesome aspect of gender pay reporting. Sit down with payroll as soon as possible and start crunching the numbers ASAP.


3. Allow sufficient time to understand the numbers and cut the figures in different ways
Once you have received all the metrics in a nicely presented pie chart, think carefully about what they actually mean for your organisation. Have you compared the figures with last year’s report? How did you fare?


If the numbers haven’t improved, or if they have taken a downwards turn, think carefully about why this is the case and how you want to communicate that message to your workforce and the public at large. Have you compared your figures to national averages (or industry sector competitors)? Can you cut the figures in a different way to shed some (ideally, positive) light on the results (i.e. across a group of employers, part-timers and full-timers, specific departments, etc)?

4. Consider drafting an explanatory narrative and a gender pay action plan
There is strong argument for employers to explain their gender pay figures in an explanatory narrative and make sense of the results. The Gender Equalities Office and the Equality and Human Rights Commission have also pressed for employers to publish action plans and time bound targets, setting out their intended strategy for reducing gender pay gaps.


Although the Government has recently rejected calls for narratives and action plans to become a mandatory gender pay requirement, we would still recommend that employers produce them on a voluntary basis. Many studies now show that they have a very positive effect on recruitment and employee relations. 

5. Publish when the time is right and you are ‘PR prepared’

At this point in the year, the choice over timing is becoming very limited. However, whenever you are set to publish your report make sure that your internal and external communications are also prepared and ready to roll out. As more employers are starting to publish their 2019 reports, we have seen the press ready to pounce on figures that have shown a downturn. Be ready to face the music…..

WHAT NEXT? Come along to our seminar “Gender pay gap reporting: lessons learned and next steps” to learn more click here to book


Blog / Equal pay